First off, you probably have too much stuff in your drawers. If you spend time wondering where “up” is after knowing that you put something “up,” but are finding expired batteries and new mouse traps in your drawers, then you need to clean them out. Aim to get rid of half of the stuff in your drawers. You’ll probably want to start by grabbing a trash bag and going through each drawer to toss out anything that isn’t worth keeping before you begin to organize.
Once you get your drawers pared-down, use some dividers to keep the contents organized. The partitions can be as simple as boxes that jewelry comes in, or you can buy some. Do you want something more original than what chain stores have to offer? Head over to a thrift store and let your imagination determine what you can use as drawer dividers. You may find that even small and simple baskets, bowls, dishes, or trays work great when organizing random things inside drawers.
A considerable part of a minimalist ethic is repurposing or fixing things instead of buying new items, saving you money. If your furniture is tired or doesn’t fit into your minimalist color scheme, you don’t need to get rid of it necessarily. A paint job or a simple remodeling effort can enliven it and make it the perfect piece for your minimalist home. You can turn anything old and worn down into something that looks like new again if you work hard enough for it, and it won’t cost as much as it would if you were to replace it with something new from the store.
Take that plain dresser and add some fun knobs to the drawers for a charming accent. Give that old wooden table a paint job so that it fits in with all of your other minimalist furniture. And while you’re at it, look for ways you can add new features to your old furniture so that it can serve multiple purposes. You can even take an old bench and build a shelf to put underneath it for shoes to put by your front door.
Another critical aspect of the minimalist ethic is being grateful for what you do have instead of being envious of what others have. Practicing gratitude daily stifles jealousy and other unpleasant emotions will increase your joy and satisfaction not only in what you have but in your entire life. That can also help fill your home with more positive energy, making it feel more welcome to others. When you can, taking away objects in your home that create clutter and cause stress may help you feel more at peace, too.
Create a practice in which, every day, you set aside a few minutes to be thankful for the things that you do have. But more than material possessions, thank the people in your life. Be happy for who they are and how much they have poured into your life. By helping others, you will be helping yourself. It’s like the saying goes, “Let good out, get good in.” Don’t take things for granted, and just appreciate what you have in your home, no matter how big or small they may be.
Whether we mean to or not, we all end up accumulating more possessions and usually much more than what we need. These possessions could come in the form of birthday and Christmas gifts from friends who mean well or from changing tastes that no longer find polka dots as appealing as polka triangles. You may have started a collection of something, but a year later decided you didn’t want to collect it anymore and move on to collecting something else, pushing your old group to the back of your closet to collect dust.
At least twice a year, with the changing of seasons, purge your home to get rid of things you don’t need. Pay special attention to the clothing that just went off-season; if you did not wear it at all the past season, get rid of it. Don’t wait to see if you will wear it next year. Chances are you won’t. If you haven’t taken something out to either wear, play with, decorate with, etc., it’s probably time you got rid of it. Someone else may be hoping to find what you are willing to donate.
The first time you purge your home for a minimalist life will be a complicated process, as you begin the process of letting go of material things that you may have built your life around. As you go through the bi-annual cycle of purging your home, your perspective will change. Instead of focusing on what you need or don’t need, think about what you can’t live without, and it might make it easier to get rid of things. Also, ask yourself, have I needed this in the past six months?
Yes, you probably do need nice shirts to wear to work. But do you need 20? No. Which shirts do you need to maintain a professional appearance at work? Those are the ones that you keep. All the other ones need to go. If you find you got rid of a shirt and need one just like it months later, you can always buy another similar to it for that special occasion. However, there is no reason to hang onto something you will only wear, maybe once every five years.
As you pare down to a minimalist lifestyle, you probably won’t miss those random browsings through Amazon and all the times you mindlessly fill up your cart, either on an online store or in a brick-and-mortar store. Why? Because you realize that you no longer derive your value from material possessions. Not only will your home and closets be thanking you, but your wallet and your mind will be thanking you too. Having too much stuff and clutter has been known to cause stress, which isn’t suitable for anyone.
When you are no longer trying to impress other people with what you have and are no longer trying to have the latest shiny object, you will find that you are much happier. The substance of life is in your relationships, both with other people and with yourself. Life is not about what you own. It never was. So toss out what you don’t need, put away what you do, clear off your countertops and desk, and give your home and your mind a fresh start and a new beginning in life.
There is no reason to keep something that you aren’t using, especially if you haven’t used it in months, maybe even years! This is especially true if you’re interested in a minimalist life. And if you don’t plan on using it again, why are you still hanging on to it? Perhaps someone is out there looking for something exactly like what you are hanging on to that you’re not even using and would be happy to have just that item. Whatever it is that you are hanging on to, it’s just taking up space that could be used for something else you need the room for.
If it’s knick-knacks you’re hanging on to but don’t want, they’re just collecting dust in the corner. Clothes that aren’t being worn are just taking up space in your closet or dresser. Old jewelry or tools are just taking up room in those boxes you set them in that you are now just having sit around, getting in the way of other things. Having things around that aren’t useful to you anymore is pointless, and there’s no reason to hang on to it anymore, so get rid of it!
Do you find yourself hanging onto a shirt because it flatters you nicely, but you don’t like the way it looks? Get rid of it and find something that not only fits you perfectly but something that you also love the look of as well. Are you tired of looking at those old window curtains? However, you don’t want to get rid of them because it was part of a housewarming gift? They’re not going to care, and we are sure they would completely understand that you got rid of it and replaced it with something you like.
You wouldn’t buy something from the store that made you frown and feel unhappy with just to put out for others to see, would you? If someone were to gift you something that doesn’t make you smile, you are not obligated to keep it if you don’t want to. Explain yourself, you just don’t have the room for it, and you don’t care for it. They should understand and will maybe give you something useful that you like in the future.
When going through your things and deciding on what you want to keep and what you want to get rid of, you may be thinking about how you don’t want to make another trip to the thrift store to make another donation. So, why not have a rummage sale instead? One man’s trash is another man’s treasure! Not everybody is a minimalist; they’ll want your things. And you could even make a little money by selling some of your unwanted items as well. Just be sure that when selling your things, they’re not broken or trashed first.
When deciding how to set up your rummage sale, make sure you have plenty of tables and shelves to set up to put your things on top of first. You could either put notes on each table with prices and put little stickers with each item’s price. Alternatively, you can even put a sign out that says for people to give you an offer on what they would like to buy. You would also need to make a couple of signs to advertise your rummage sale so that people driving along know where it’s at so they can stop and shop!
So you may have some things lying around your house that you’re not sure what to do with, a holiday like Christmas or a birthday is coming up, and you don’t have much money to spend. Where do you go from there? You could always get creative and turn something of your own that you’re uninterested in anymore into something like new for someone else. It may be old to you, but it can be like new to someone else, and they’ll be sure to love that you put your heart and creative skills to work on something just for them.
Turn old pillows into new throw pillows. Just buy some cheap fabric and sew it on! Have an old picture frame just lying around? Clean it up, maybe paint or stain the frame, clean the glass of any fingerprints or dust, and put a photo in it as a gift to your friend. You could do the same with an old mirror, clean the glass, maybe paint the frame or add some gemstones around it to jazz it up a bit. It’ll look like you just bought it from the store!
Not All Of That Is Necessary for a Minimalist Life
Don’t buy things that aren’t necessary, and don’t take things into your home that you don’t need. Keeping your house simple inside starts by not having a lot of stuff to crowd it up inside. There’s no need to have 20 plates and 15 bowls if it’s just you and your significant other living in your home. And why do you have 17 blankets if you only ever have one friend sleepover every few months? 13 couch pillows for one loveseat seems a little overkill, too, don’t you think?
Hanging on to five pairs of shoes when you only ever wear the same two makes it seem pointless to keep the other three. They’re just taking up space. You may have a hundred things hanging on your living room walls, making it look a bit overcrowded. There’s no need for all that to be up on the walls. Maybe spread them out throughout your house, or only have a few things hanging up at a time. A lot of one thing isn’t always a good thing.
When you have your cleaning supplies all over your house, it makes it look messy and maybe makes it feel a bit crowded. Your vacuum may be stuffed into a corner, with the broom and paper towels in another. Maybe try organizing your cleaning supplies and putting them in a space that keeps them together and out of the way. It’ll also make it easier for you to find one of the supplies you’re looking for as well, and it’ll look neater in your home if they’re not scattered throughout.
If you have a laundry room, that is an excellent place to put all your cleaning supplies, but if you don’t, maybe a small closet or little corner tucked away? When organizing cleaning supplies such as cleaners, you could put them under your kitchen sink. Get small baskets or bins to put them in to keep them together and organized. It will also make it easier to pull a basket out to sift through your supplies when looking for something instead of crawl under your sink when searching for a specific product.
Are you finding yourself with too many clothes and not enough room? Perhaps you are unsure how to decide what to get rid of and what to keep. There is a fun and easy trick to figuring out exactly what clothes you wear and what you don’t. Because why keep what you don’t wear or use right? By following this simple life hack, you’ll be able to make that tough decision as easy as possible to help downsize your wardrobe at home.
If you hang your clothes in the closet, face the hangers all one way. Once you take a piece of clothing off the hanger and wear it, place it back on the hanger after washing it, but face it in the opposite direction. Whichever hangers are still facing the original way by the end of whatever deadline you give yourself, let’s say three months, get rid of them. Those clothes you haven’t worn in the past three months mean you probably won’t wear them in the next three, either. They’re just taking up room. Once you’ve cleaned it out, you’re one step closer to a minimalist life.
Minimalist Trick: Put Plants Where You Wouldn’t Think
Are you a plant lover but have no place to put them? Maybe it’s time you started to think outside the box! Plants don’t just have to sit on a table, countertop, or shelf.And plants seems to be a favorite in minimalist design. They can be hung up, strung up, slung up, whatever! It’s time you got creative with your houseplants and gave your home a whole new look and feel. It may even help keep your pets out of your plants if you had that to worry about as well. You can easily hang plants up from a hook in your ceiling, as you would see in a greenhouse or outdoor setting.
Another fun and different minimalist look for your plants would be to put them in your shower. Eucalyptus and other tropical shower plants would freshen up your bathroom and look fabulous in there. Give your bathroom and shower that natural feel with some plants that thrive in warm wet environments. Hang them from the ceiling, put them on a shelf or a windowsill if you have a window in your bathroom, or even hang one from your showerhead. Not only will your bathroom look refreshing, but it will smell fresh, too.
Nowadays, people mount their TVs to their walls, eliminating a TV stand, making more space in their living rooms for other things. While this is such a great idea, if you are looking for more shelving or cubby-like space, maybe a TV stand isn’t such a bad idea for your living room after all. It doesn’t even have to be an actual TV stand that is being sold specifically for your set, either. You can get creative with other things, too.
You could get a cubed shelf in your living room and put your TV on top of that. In turn, you are using the cubby spaces underneath to put other things, such as your game consoles, DVD player, cable box, movies, and games. Even pictures and small knick-knacks if you wish to. In the bedroom, you could use the top of your dresser for your TV instead of using a separate stand for your television, giving you more space for other things in your room, too.
While being organized and making sure you don’t have an abundance of things helps make your house feel more minimalized, keeping your home tidy will also help a lot. If you keep it messy, it will look cluttered, and no one will notice that you are an organized person. You may know that your cabinets or your closets are organized, but others won’t, and they won’t even guess they are if there’s junk lying around on your counters or floors.
Make sure you only have a few couch pillows out on your couch. Too many will make it look cluttered and tacky- not minimalist at all. Dirty dishes in the sink will make your kitchen look messy. Try to dry them and put them away soon after washing so that they also don’t take up extra space on the counter afterward. If your shoes aren’t tucked away, be sure they aren’t flung around the room. Straighten them up by the door so that they look neat and in place. Little things like that can make a big difference in the appearance of your home, too.